Courtroom sketch made on January 14, 2019, showing Antoine Quirin (L) and Nicolas Redouane during their first trial before the Court of Assizes in Paris (AFP / Benoit PEYRUCQ)
Since the acquittal on Friday of the two police officers in the so-called “36 quai des Orfèvres” case, a hundred feminist activists have signed a column entitled “France, land of impunity for rape?”, which the lawyers for the innocents denounce as a “negation of democracy”, according to a press release sent to AFP on Thursday.
The verdict was “rendered in the name of the French people” and “is binding on all”, recalled the four police lawyers, Anne-Laure Compoint, Pauline Baudu-Armand, Thierry Herzog and Pascal-Pierre Garbarini.
The “open letter” published Tuesday by Le Parisien, notably signed by journalist Alice Coffin, comic book author Pénélope Bagieu, lawyer Caroline Mecary, LFI deputy Clémentine Autain and many feminist groups, believes that the trial was “that of the victim”, Emily Spanton, and that she was not “protected”. “When you get a trial (for rape, editor’s note), you end up being the + liar +, the + nymphomaniac +, the culprit”, says the text.
Nicolas Redouane, one of the two police officers acquitted on April 22, 2022 for the rape of a Canadian tourist, during his appearance before the assizes on January 14, 2014, in Paris (AFP / Eric Feferberg)
The two exonerated police officers, Nicolas Redouane and Antoine Quirin, had first benefited from a dismissal before being sent back to the Assizes of Paris and sentenced to seven years in prison in 2019. Having appealed, they were retried in 2022 and acquitted by the Assize Court of Val-de-Marne.
The court justified its decision on appeal by the “many uncertainties, inaccuracies” even “several lies” of the Canadian tourist, who accused the two police officers of having raped her in the former headquarters of the PJ in Paris, in April 2014.
“We note that none of the signatories” of the forum “had knowledge of the file and did not attend the debates either (…) which questions the merits of this controversy”, annoy the advice of the two police officers.
Antoine Quirin, one of the two police officers acquitted on April 22, 2022 for the rape of a Canadian tourist, during his appearance before the assizes on January 14, 2014, in Paris (AFP / Eric Feferberg)
Requested by AFP, the general prosecutor’s office of the Court of Cassation indicated that requests for appeal in the interest of the law against the judgment of acquittal had been filed and that they were “currently under examination “.
This recourse consists in assessing the existence of a possible problem of legality, either of the procedure during the trial or of the reasons for the verdict, but is not likely to annul the decision of acquittal.
On Tuesday, Sophie Obadia, one of the plaintiff’s lawyers, told AFP that she had made such an appeal so that the question of “toxicological vulnerability” could be studied in particular, the plaintiff being heavily alcoholic at the time of the events.
In response, the lawyers for the police say they cannot “tolerate that this affair, because of its media coverage, be exploited, thus sweeping away the now established and recognized innocence” of their clients.